Meet Piper Trust’s 2012 Awardees

2012 Encore Brochure | 2012 Encore Awardees Press Release

Mission of Mercy

$5,000 Piper Trust Encore Prize
$50,000 Encore Enhancement Prize

Mission of Mercy operates six mobile medical clinics in Maricopa County and treats 15,000 uninsured patients every year, thanks to more than 350 mostly retired doctors, nurses, and other professionals who haven't retired their compassion.

"They are the best of the best," says Catherine Amiot, executive director of Mission of Mercy. Our unpaid encore workers are highly educated and have had satisfying careers; they're solution-focused and able to handle problems quickly. Their passion to serve others is what drives them—it is at the heart of what they are doing. This is their finest hour," Amiot says.

The nonprofit is 100 percent privately funded and provides free primary healthcare, dental services, and prescription medications to the uninsured and working poor—those who work two or three jobs and still can't afford insurance. Mission of Mercy's patient load in Maricopa County has grown 40 percent in the past three years.

Through the skills and talent of encore worker, Dianne Aguilar, Mission of Mercy launched Community Connections, a program that directly connects patients with health, education, and social service resources through collaboration with other nonprofits. Aguilar applied her 30 years of experience working in the professional sports industry to developing new solutions for the nonprofit. Her experience building programs from the ground up gave her the insight in how to best expand Community Connections to all 17 Mission of Mercy sites.

Mesa United Way

$5,000 Piper Trust Encore Prize

Mesa United Way calls its encore workers "the richly experienced." The nonprofit has actively sought the skills and wisdom of encore workers since 2009 for a variety of leadership roles. Programs that serve foster children, help seniors prepare taxes, and aid disadvantaged women re-entering the workforce are just some of the areas where encore workers have applied their experience. Many are compensated with stipends.

Encore workers include a former retail store owner who started Helen's Hope Chest which provides clothing and school supplies to foster children; a certified mental health counselor who helps women develop life plans; and an IT professional who started the Mesa Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The number of workers fluctuates throughout the year, reaching a high of 100 during tax preparation season.

Mesa United Way President and CEO Dan Wollam noted, "Remember when you thought you could change the world? These encore workers know they still can—that's what resonates with them as they transition from their careers. Our encore workers provide services that Mesa United Way could not afford to hire. They are so dedicated that we truly see them as permanent members of our team."

Neighbors Who Care

$5,000 Piper Trust Encore Prize

Neighbors Who Care found an ideal use for encore workers—helping others in the encore phases of their lives. Almost 500 encore workers help fellow residents in Sun Lakes and south Chandler remain independent and living in their own homes. With such a large encore pool to draw from, services for the homebound include: Medicare advising, balancing a checkbook, home repairs, driving, and meal delivery.

Encore workers are valued and compensated with an annual brunch, business discounts, access to free defensive driving classes, and other special opportunities.

"The reward of helping friends and neighbors is the real compensation. Our encore workers and the people they serve are close in age and share many common experiences—this is a bond that provides a great comfort level for all and an ability to truly empathize," says Eric Ehst, executive director. "The result is superior service that helps our clients overcome feelings of loneliness, fear, and insecurity—while giving our encore workers a strong sense of purpose."

Neighbors Who Care has five employees, all in their encore careers. The office manager was an accountant, and Ehst himself is a former aerospace engineer. This small but mighty team, along with their encore worker colleagues, is highly effective and manages to serve about 600 people every year.

"Our encore workers fulfill their desires to serve our community and strengthen this vital organization daily—for when they or their families may need to tap into it," says Ehst. "The rewards are rich and deep."